Since the mournful month of October 1998 when Matthew Shepard was beaten and died, Craig Hella Johnson has had a strong sense that he would be involved musically with his story in some way. Considering Matthew Shepard is his musical response to a story that remains sacred to Craig. In the June 2014 workshop version, Lesléa Newman’sOctober Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard and Daniel Ladinsky’s rendering of Hafiz’s My Heart is an Unset Jewel were prominently featured and sung by soloists and the ensemble. Craig has continued development of this work which has grown into a semi-staged version to be premiered in February 2016.
Considering Matthew Shepard is Craig’s first concert-length work, and will be recorded for Harmonia Mundi in March 2016.